How Do You Field Dress An Elk?
• Shoot the animal first and, as you approach carefully (ideally toward the animal’s back), you should be alert to the animal’s eyes to make sure it’s dead! If its eyes are closed, it is not dead. If it blinks when you extend a stick or your rifle barrel to touch an open eye, then it is not dead. If it is not dead, then shoot the animal again, placing a follow-up shot through the chest to cause rapid bleeding from the lungs, or possibly to hit the heart. (A shot through the rib cage area will damage a minimum amount of meat and will produce massive bleeding from the elk’s lungs to ensure a rapid death.) Do not attempt to cut its throat while it is alive. A bull elk will normally weigh between 400 and 700 pounds and will have antlers with sharp points. This animal is very strong, even if injured and should not be “handled” until it is dead. • If you want to mount the elk’s antlers in a shoulder mount style, then you must “cape” the front half of the elk, and you should never cut the elk